According to a rumor from a source in China, the Huawei P50 series line of smartphones are expected to be the first to run HarmonyOS, the company’s local operating system. The P50 series will follow Huawei’s Mate 40 series and is expected to come in three variants, a P50, P50 Pro and P50 Pro Plus, according to a report from GizChina.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes from older models is the software. Due to restrictions imposed by the US government, Huawei is unable to work with various US vendors, including Google. Huawei’s recent flagships ran on open source Android, with the company’s EMUI skin covering Google’s operating system, but the P50 will apparently ditch Android for HarmonyOS.
Whether using Harmony or Android, the P50 series will use Huawei’s app gallery and not Google’s Play Store for apps. The app gallery has seen tremendous growth and buy-in from European companies, including the replacement Uber Bolt app and Nokia’s HereWeGo cards, but apps commonly used in the US remain scarce.
And HarmonyOS? During a presentation in September 2021, Huawei Business Group chairman Richard Yu confirmed that the operating system will reach smartphones in 2021, after the company made the HarmonyOS 2.0 beta available to consumers. developers for use on smart home products. The final version of HarmonyOS for smartphones has yet to be presented, although a development version revealed that the Android code remained when it was reviewed by Ars Technica. But this software was not a final version, so it is not known how much will be changed before being used on Huawei commercial hardware.
It’s also possible that Huawei will only launch a P50 with HarmonyOS in China, rumored to mean that the global versions of the phones will continue to use open source Android and the EMUI user interface on top of it. There are various rumors around when Huawei will launch the P50, with some indicating that it will arrive in April.